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MMD > Archives > June 1998 > 1998.06.26 > 08Prev  Next

Band Organ Music on 1915 Phono Record
By Ken Vinen

On a recent trip to Scotland, Ontario, to help a friend seek out
a vintage juke box, a unique discovery was made.

We did locate and purchase a 1938 Model 600 Wurlitzer in good
restorable condition.  With it came a large box of old records, that
I had a chance to look through, and found one of special interest.

It is on the Columbia Label and is an acoustical recording.  One side
is called 'Shadow Waltz', the other side 'Puppchen' one-step.  Both are
listed as Circus Organ Solo, and identified as "International Circus
Organ."  Price was 90 cents.  Recording number is E2922.

I have no idea what kind of organ was used in making this recording.
It does have several pipe voice changes and the usual percussion.
By listening, it is very easy to tell it is a mechanical player.

I know recordings were made in the 'Forties, to replace the real band
organ, but this recording dates about 1915 and was made for the home
consumer, not the carnival man.

At that time in our history, real band organs were everywhere so it
is hard to imagine why any person would part with ninety cents for an
acoustic recording to play on their wind-up phonograph.

Are mechanical organ recordings from this era common?  I have been
collecting records for fifty years and never found anything like this
before.  I did find one of a hurdy-gurdy once.

Each day a new discovery!  - regards to all

Ken Vinen

Key Words in Subject:  1915, Band, Music, Organ, Phono, Record

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